January 26, 2017 at 12:01 am
Joel E. Zurbano
Cases of malnutrition in Taguig City went down by nearly half to just 563 cases in 2016, the city government announced Wednesday.
In a report submitted to Mayor Laarni Cayetano, the Taguig City Nutrition Office reported that the malnutrition prevalence rate in Taguig dropped to 0.45 percent in 2016 from 0.54 percent or 1,035 cases in 2015.
For the last two years, Taguig has also recorded the lowest malnutrition prevalence among the 17 local government units in the National Capital Region. This achievement “has been the result of extensive and innovative programs in the city,” the nutrition office said.
Julie Bernabe, Nutrition Office officer-in-charge, said 43 barangay nutrition scholars are dispatched to all the 28 Taguig barangays for a wider, more effective advocacy campaign among the residents of its intervention programs.
“Our local government has seven interventions against malnutrition, which we conduct yearly with the help of various departments in the city,” Bernabe added.
These interventions include supplementary feeding schemes provided to thin and stunted pregnant women, young children from six months to six years old, and underweight schoolchildren in Grades 1 and 2, and a massive administering of vitamin and mineral supplements like Vitamin A and Iron to prevent and cure micronutrient deficiencies.
In addition, Taguig has adopted desirable practices that ensure nutritional well-being, such as the “Ten Kumainments” guidelines and other nutrition-related messages. It also provides livelihood assistance to poor and malnourished households, and delivers maternal and child health and nutrition package services, Bernabe said.
The local government has started its annual nutrition intervention by conducting “Oplan Timbang” in which the height and weight of children up to five years old in each barangay are collated to determine their nutritional status as severely underweight, underweight, normal, or overweight.
Oplan Timbang will run until March. Once its data are collected and analyzed, the nutrition office will determine the proper intervention depending on the child’s nutritional status.
Michelle Adiong, a 37-year-old mother of five, expressed her gratitude to the local government, saying that with the help of these interventions her two undernourished children are now considered healthy.
Taguig City was awarded the prestigious “Green Banner” award by the National Nutrition Council-National Capital Region for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015.